Question: Is it possible to have 2 wireless routers connected to one modem ?

If you intend to share files on your LAN, you will only want one router for the whole setup.

That router (wired or wireless) gets connected to the DSL modem.

You can then run a cable to a wireless access point upstairs and a cable to a wireless access point downstairs. Both wireless access points should be set to operate on different channels (e.g., 1 and 6).

In this setup, your current Microsoft router can serve as both the router and the upstairs wireless access point.

You can connect an ethernet switch (quite cheap) downstairs to have additional ethernet ports. You would connect the downstairs access point to one of them. You can also connect a wireless router instead of a wireless access point downstairs, but you may need to connect it through a LAN port (and not the WAN port), you may need to use a crossover cable for this, and you will have to turn off its DHCP server (you do not want two active DHCP servers on a LAN). Alternatively, you could connect the downstairs router through its WAN port, but then the downstairs computers would be behind two layers of NAT, which is superfluous (in addition, NAT only passes IP traffic, which causes problems when sharing files with LAN protocols because the computers connected to this router may not see the computers connected to the upstairs router).


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Yves Konigshofer
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Forgive me if this question seems nonsensical. I'm a borderline clueless newbie in this field.

I have a DSL connection connected to a modem in the upstairs part of my house. That modem is also connected to my desktop system. That modem is also connected to a Microsoft MD-500 wireless router. I can use my laptop anywhere upstairs in the house with this setup. However, I can't connect anywhere downstairs. My home is a very old and very sturdy building with lots of very thick walls and brick, concrete and steel everywhere.

My proposed solution is to run a CAT-5 (or CAT-6 ?) cable from the router upstairs to a central location downstairs, and then hook up an additional router downstairs. I would then be able to connect wirelessly (on different laptops) anywhere downstairs.

Is this a feasable situation ? Would the two routers conflict with each other ? The intallation software is of particular concern. Could I put both installations on the same desktop PC ?

I've chosen the Belkin Pre-N modem for downstairs since it is supposed to have exemplary range, and like I said, downstairs is fraught with brick and steel. Will this router conflict with the Microsoft one ? (actually linksys I believe).

The Belkin is supposed to be compatible with 802.11b which is what I believe the Microsoft one is.

I've concluded that this whole proposition will be either really simple or diabolically complicated. I thought I'd run it by the experts in here before taking the plunge.

Any comments, advice, and warnings would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much, --N

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Yes, it will work fine.

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Cool. Thanks for your input

Cheers, --N

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I can confirm what Yves said. I have just done that myself with two Netgear MR814v2 routers. One router is connected to my cable modem via the WAN port. A LAN port on the first router is connected to a LAN port on the second router. I didn't need to use a crossover cable. The WAN port on the second router is unused. DHCP in the second router is turned off. The first router is set to channel 1 and the second router is set to channel 11. Works fine.


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Absolutely you can the downstairs talking, and its very straightforward and simple.

No need to re-iterate Yves's great reply, but using an access point downstairs instead of an router would keep things straightforward. Since your focus seems to be getting to the DSL modem, I take it you mainly just use your network for internet traffic? There is no need for a second router, and hence a second WLAN.

But if you already have a second wireless router or have your eyes on one because of price, as Yves suggested, a router can be used as only an access point by simply bringing the CAT5 into one of it's LAN (not WAN) ports and disabling it's DHCP. DHCP will come from the first router. I did that for a while here, simple because I had a spare router. These were DLink's, and did require a crossover CAT5 cable for router WAN to router LAN. Connecting a router to an AP is done with straight CAT5 though.

All the above was mentioned in other replies, but just wanted to point out another reason, other than simplicity, for using an AP (or router acting as strickly an AP). It may be different with other manufacturers, but with my DLink stuff I can crossover seamlessly as long as two (same) SSIDs are on the same WLAN. I.e., walking around (or outside) the house with my laptop (or even PDA), it will seamlessly (and automatically) re-connect to the strongest SSID available (provided they are same SSID name and on same WLAN). All done in the background, as you'd expect. I experimented with two routers (two WLANs), but using same SSID, to see how they would handle that -- when moving in range of the stronger SSID, the connection drops, gets a little confused, takes a few tries to connect, and then course has to do all new DHCP. Often to get it to "re"-connect would require having to manually "bump" it. Just experimenting to see what it would do in that setup. With one WLAN, its all seamless though.

Cheers, Eric

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Many thanks for this excellent response. I hadn't even known of "ethernet switches".

I also hadn't really thought about the possibility of sharing just wasn't a concern. But now I'm liking the idea, so I'll have to give it a bit more research.

However, I am anticipating problems with the wireless downstairs, so I still plan to go the router route, if only to reserve the option to hard wire connections to the particularly perilous romms down there.

Thanks again for your advice.

Cheers, --N

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